Chapman, George, trans. (1559?1634). The Odysseys of Homer, vol. 1. 1857.
THE SIXTH BOOK OF HOMER'S ODYSSEYS.
- MINERVA in a vision stands
- Before Nausicaa; and commands
- She to the flood her weeds should bear,
- For now her nuptial day was near.
- Nausicaa her charge obeys,
- And then with other virgins plays.
- Their sports make wak'd Ulysses rise,
- Walk to them, and beseech supplies
- Of food and clothes. His naked sight
- Puts th' other maids, afraid, to flight;
- Nausicaa only boldly stays,
- And gladly his desire obeys.
- He, furnished with her favours shown,
- Attends her and the rest to town.
- .... Here olive leaves
- T' hide shame began.
- The maid receives
- The naked man.
HE much-sustaining, patient, heavenly man,
Whom Toil and Sleep had worn so weak and wan,
Thus won his rest. In mean space Pallas went
To the Phaeacian city, and descent
That first did broad Hyperia's lands divide, 5
Near the vast Cyclops, men of monstrous pride,
That prey'd on those Hyperians, since they were
Of greater power; and therefore longer there
Divine Nausithous dwelt not, but arose,
And did for Scheria all his powers dispose, 10
Far from ingenious art-inventing men;
But there did he erect a city then,
First drew a wall round, then he houses builds,
And then a temple to the Gods, the fields
Lastly dividing. But he, stoop'd by Fate, 15
Div'd to th' infernals; and Alcinous sate
In his command, a man the Gods did teach
Commanding counsels. His house held the reach
Of grey Minerva's project, to provide
That great-soul'd Ithacus might be supplied 20
With all things fitting his return. She went
Up to the chamber, where the fair descent
Of great Alcinous slept; a maid, whose parts
In wit and beauty wore divine deserts.
Well deck'd her chamber was; of which the door 25
Did seem to lighten, such a gloss it bore
Betwixt the posts, and now flew ope to find
The Goddess entry. Like a puft of wind
She reach'd the virgin bed; near which there lay
Two maids, to whom the Graces did convey 30
Figure and manners. But above the head
Of bright Nausicaa did Pallas tread
The subtle air, and put the person on
Of Dymas' daughter, from comparison
Exempt in business naval. Like his seed 35
Minerva look'd now; whom one year did breed
With bright Nausicaa, and who had gain'd
Grace in her love, yet on her thus complain'd:
"Nausicaa! Why bred thy mother one
So negligent in rites so stood upon 40
By other virgins? Thy fair garments lie
Neglected by thee, yet thy nuptials nigh;
When rich in all attire both thou shouldst be,
And garments give to others honouring thee,
That lead thee to the temple. Thy good name 45
Grows amongst men for these things; they inflame
Father and reverend mother with delight.
Come, when the Day takes any wink from Night,
Let's to the river, and repurify
Thy wedding garments. My society 50
Shall freely serve thee for thy speedier aid,
Because thou shalt no more stand on the maid.
The best of all Phaeacia woo thy grace,
Where thou wert bred, and owest thyself a race.
Up, and stir up to thee thy honour'd sire, 55
To give thee mules and coach, thee and thy tire,
Veils, girdles, mantles, early to the flood,
To bear in state. It suits thy high-born blood,
And far more fits thee, than to foot so far,
For far from town thou knowst the bath-founts are." 60
This said, away blue-eyed Minerva went
Up to Olympus, the firm continent
That bears in endless being the Deified kind,
That's neither soused with showers, nor shook with wind,
Nor chill'd with snow, but where Serenity flies 65
Exempt from clouds, and ever-beamy skies
Circle the glittering hill, and all their days
Give the delights of blessed Deity praise.
And hither Pallas flew, and left the maid,
When she had all that might excite her said. 70
Straight rose the lovely Morn, that up did raise
Fair-veil'd Nausicaa, whose dream her praise
To admiration took; who no time spent
To give the rapture of her vision vent
To her lov'd parents, whom she found within. 75
Her mother set at fire, who had to spin
A rock, whose tincture with sea-purple shin'd;
Her maids about her. But she chanced to find
Her father going abroad, to council call'd
By his grave Senate. And to him exhaled 80
Her smother'd bosom was: "Lov'd sire," said she,
"Will you not now command a coach for me,
Stately and complete, fit for me to bear
To wash at flood the weeds I cannot wear
Before repurified? Yourself it fits 85
To wear fair weeds, as every man that sits
In place of council. And five sons you have,
Two wed, three bachelors, that must be brave
In every day's shift, that they may go dance;
For these three last with these things must advance 90
Their states in marriage, and who else but I,
Their sister, should their dancing rites supply?"
This general cause she show'd, and would not name
Her mind of nuptials to her sire, for shame.
He understood her yet, and thus replied: 95
"Daughter! nor these, nor any grace beside,
I either will deny thee, or defer,
Mules, nor a coach, of state and circular,
Fitting at all parts. Go, my servants shall
Serve thy desires, and thy command in all." 100
The servants then commanded soon obey'd,
Fetch'd coach, and mules join'd in it. Then the Maid
Brought from the chamber her rich weeds, and laid
All up in coach; in which her mother plac'd
A maund of victuals, varied well in taste, 105
And other junkets. Wine she likewise fill'd
Within a goat-skin bottle, and distill'd
Sweet and moist oil into a golden cruse,
Both for her daughter's, and her handmaid's, use,
To soften their bright bodies, when they rose 110
Cleans'd from their cold baths. Up to coach then goes
Th' observed Maid, takes both the scourge and reins,
And to her side her handmaid straight attains.
Nor these alone, but other virgins, grac'd
The nuptial chariot. The whole bevy plac'd, 115
Nausicaa scourg'd to make the coach-mules run,
That neigh'd, and pac'd their usual speed, and soon
Both maids and weeds brought to the river side,
Where baths for all the year their use supplied,
Whose waters were so pure they would not stain, 120
But still ran fair forth, and did more remain
Apt to purge stains, for that purg'd stain within,
Which by the water's pure store was not seen.
These, here arriv'd, the mules uncoach'd, and drave
Up to the gulfy river's shore, that gave 125
Sweet grass to them. The maids from coach then took
Their clothes, and steep'd them in the sable brook;
Then put them into springs, and trod them clean
With cleanly feet; adventuring wagers then,
Who should have soonest and most cleanly done. 130
When having throughly cleans'd, they spread them on
The flood's shore, all in order. And then, where
The waves the pebbles wash'd, and ground was clear,
They bath'd themselves, and all with glittering oil
Smooth'd their white skins; refreshing then their toil 135
With pleasant dinner, by the river's side;
Yet still watch'd when the sun their clothes had dried.
Till which time, having dined, Nausicaa
With other virgins did at stool-ball play,
Their shoulder-reaching head-tires laying by. 140
Nausicaa, with the wrists of ivory,
The liking stroke struck, singing first a song,
As custom order'd, and amidst the throng
Made such a show, and so past all was seen,
As when the chaste-born, arrow-loving, Queen, 145
Along the mountains gliding, either over
Spartan Taygetus, whose tops far discover,
Or Eurymanthus, in the wild boar's chace,
Or swift-hoved hart, and with her Jove's fair race,
The field Nymphs, sporting; amongst whom, to see 150
How far Diana had priority,
Though all were fair, for fairness yet of all,
As both by head and forehead being more tall,
Latona triumph'd, since the dullest sight
Might eas'ly judge whom her pains brought to light; 155
Nausicaa so, whom never husband tamed,
Above them all in all the beauties flamed.
But when they now made homewards, and array'd,
Ordering their weeds disorder'd as they play'd,
Mules and coach ready, then Minerva thought 160
What means to wake Ulysses might be wrought,
That he might see this lovely-sighted maid,
Whom she intended should become his aid,
Bring him to town, and his return advance.
Her mean was this, though thought a stool-ball chance: 165
The queen now, for the upstroke, struck the ball
Quite wide off th' other maids, and made it fall
Amidst the whirlpools. At which out shriek'd all,
And with the shriek did wise Ulysses wake;
Who, sitting up, was doubtful who should make 170
That sudden outcry, and in mind thus striv'd:
"On what a people am I now arriv'd?
At civil hospitable men, that fear
The Gods? Or dwell injurious mortals here?
Unjust, and churlish? Like the female cry 175
Of youth it sounds. What are they? Nymphs bred high
On tops of hills, or in the founts of floods,
In herby marshes, or in leafy woods?
Or are they high-spoke men I now am near?
I'll prove, and see." With this, the wary peer 180
Crept forth the thicket, and an olive bough
Broke with his broad hand, which he did bestow
In covert of his nakedness, and then
Put hasty head out. Look how from his den
A mountain lion looks, that, all embrued 185
With drops of trees, and weather-beaten hued,
Bold of his strength, goes on, and in his eye
A burning furnace glows, all bent to prey
On sheep, or oxen, or the upland hart,
His belly charging him, and he must part 190
Stakes with the herdsman in his beast's attempt,
Even where from rape their strengths are most exempt;
So wet, so weather-beat, so stung with need,
Even to the home-fields of the country's breed
Ulysses was to force forth his access, 195
Though merely naked; and his sight did press
The eyes of soft-hair'd virgins. Horrid was
His rough appearance to them; the hard pass
He had at sea stuck by him. All in flight
The virgins scatter'd, frighted with this sight, 200
About the prominent windings of the flood.
All but Nausicaa fled; but she fast stood,
Pallas had put a boldness in her breast,
And in her fair limbs tender fear compress'd.
And still she stood him, as resolv'd to know 205
What man he was, or out of what should grow
His strange repair to them. And here was he
Put to his wisdom; if her virgin knee
He should be bold, but kneeling, to embrace;
Or keep aloof, and try with words of grace, 210
In humblest suppliance, if he might obtain
Some cover for his nakedness, and gain
Her grace to show and guide him to the town.
The last he best thought, to be worth his own,
In weighing both well; to keep still aloof, 215
And give with soft words his desires their proof,
Lest, pressing so near as to touch her knee,
He might incense her maiden modesty.
This fair and fil'd speech then shew'd this was he:
"Let me beseech, O queen, this truth of thee, 220
Are you of mortal, or the deified, race?
If of the Gods, that th' ample heavens embrace,
I can resemble you to none above
So near as to the chaste-born birth of Jove,
The beamy Cynthia. Her you full present, 225
In grace of every God-like lineament,
Her goodly magnitude, and all th' address
You promise of her very perfectness.
If sprung of humans, that inhabit earth,
Thrice blest are both the authors of your birth, 230
Thrice blest your brothers, that in your deserts
Must, even to rapture, bear delighted hearts,
To see, so like the first trim of a tree,
Your form adorn a dance. But most blest he,
Of all that breathe, that hath the gift t' engage 235
Your bright neck in the yoke of marriage,
And deck his house with your commanding merit.
I have not seen a man of so much spirit,
Nor man, nor woman, I did ever see,
At all parts equal to the parts in thee. 240
T' enjoy your sight, doth admiration seize
My eyes, and apprehensive faculties.
Lately in Delos (with a charge of men
Arrived, that render'd me most wretched then,
Now making me thus naked) I beheld 245
The burthen of a palm, whose issue swell'd
About Apollo's fane, and that put on
A grace like thee; for Earth had never none
Of all her sylvan issue so adorn'd.
Into amaze my very soul was turn'd, 250
To give it observation; as now thee
To view, O virgin, a stupidity
Past admiration strikes me, join'd with fear
To do a suppliant's due, and press so near,
As to embrace thy knees. Nor is it strange, 255
For one of fresh and firmest spirit would change
T' embrace so bright an object. But, for me,
A cruel habit of calamity
Prepared the strong impression thou hast made;
For this last day did fly night's twentieth shade 260
Since I, at length, escap'd the sable seas;
When in the mean time th' unrelenting prease
Of waves and stern storms toss'd me up and down,
From th' isle Ogygia. And now God hath thrown
My wrack on this shore, that perhaps I may 265
My miseries vary here; for yet their stay,
I fear, Heaven hath not order'd, though, before
These late afflictions, it hath lent me store.
O queen, deign pity then, since first to you
My fate importunes my distress to vow. 270
No other dame, nor man, that this Earth own,
And neighbour city, I have seen or known.
The town then show me; give my nakedness
Some shroud to shelter it, if to these seas
Linen or woollen you have brought to cleanse. 275
God give you, in requital, all th' amends
Your heart can wish, a husband, family,
And good agreement. Nought beneath the sky
More sweet, more worthy is, than firm consent
Of man and wife in household government. 280
It joys their wishers well, their enemies wounds,
But to themselves the special good redounds."
She answer'd: "Stranger! I discern in thee
Nor sloth, nor folly, reigns; and yet I see
Th' art poor and wretched. In which I conclude, 285
That industry nor wisdom make endued
Men with those gifts that make them best to th' eye;
Jove only orders man's felicity.
To good and bad his pleasure fashions still
The whole proportion of their good and ill. 290
And he perhaps hath form'd this plight in thee,
Of which thou must be patient, as he free.
But after all thy wand'rings, since thy way,
Both to our earth, and near our city, lay,
As being expos'd to our cares to relieve, 295
Weeds, and what else a human hand should give
To one so suppliant and tamed with woe,
Thou shalt not want. Our city I will show,
And tell our people's name: This neighbour town,
And all this kingdom, the Phaeacians own. 300
And (since thou seem'dst so fain to know my birth,
And mad'st a question, if of heaven or earth,)
This earth hath bred me; and my father's name
Alcinous is, that in the power and frame
Of this isle's rule is supereminent." 305
Thus, passing him, she to the virgins went,
And said: "Give stay both to your feet and fright.
Why thus disperse ye for a man's mere sight?
Esteem you him a Cyclop, that long since
Made use to prey upon our citizens? 310
This man no moist man is, (nor wat'rish thing,
That's ever flitting, ever ravishing
All it can compass; and, like it, doth range
In rape of women, never stay'd in change)
This man is truly manly, wise, and stay'd, 315
In soul more rich the more to sense decay'd,
Who nor will do, nor suffer to be done,
Acts lewd and abject; nor can such a one
Greet the Phaeacians with a mind envious,
Dear to the Gods they are, and he is pious. 320
Besides, divided from the world we are,
The out-part of it, billows circular
The sea revolving round about our shore;
Nor is there any man that enters more
Than our own countrymen, with what is brought 325
From other countries. This man, minding nought
But his relief, a poor unhappy wretch,
Wrack'd here, and hath no other land to fetch,
Him now we must provide for. From Jove come
All strangers, and the needy of a home, 330
Who any gift, though ne'er so small it be,
Esteem as great, and take it gratefully.
And therefore, virgins, give the stranger food,
And wine; and see ye bathe him in the flood,
Near to some shore to shelter most inclin'd. 335
'To cold bath bathers hurtful is the wind,'
Not only rugged making th' outward skin,
But by his thin powers pierceth parts within.
This said, their flight in a return they set,
And did Ulysses with all grace entreat, 340
Show'd him a shore, wind-proof, and full of shade,
By him a shirt and utter mantle laid,
A golden jug of liquid oil did add,
Bad wash, and all things as Nausicaa bad.
Divine Ulysses would not use their aid; 345
But thus bespake them: "Every lovely maid,
Let me entreat to stand a little by,
That I, alone, the fresh flood may apply
To cleanse my bosom of the sea-wrought brine,
And then use oil, which long time did not shine 350
On my poor shoulders. I'll not wash in sight
Of fair-hair'd maidens. I should blush outright,
To bathe all bare by such a virgin light."
They moved, and mused a man had so much grace,
And told their mistress what a man he was. 355
He cleans'd his broad soil'd shoulders, back, and head,
Yet never tam'd, but now had foam and weed
Knit in the fair curls. Which dissolv'd, and he
Slick'd all with sweet oil, the sweet charity
The untouch'd virgin show'd in his attire 360
He cloth'd him with. Then Pallas put a fire,
More than before, into his sparkling eyes,
His late soil set off with his soon fresh guise.
His locks, cleans'd, curl'd the more, and match'd, in power
To please an eye, the hyacinthian flower. 365
And as a workman, that can well combine
Silver and gold, and make both strive to shine,
As being by Vulcan, and Minerva too,
Taught how far either may be urg'd to go
In strife of eminence, when work sets forth 370
A worthy soul to bodies of such worth,
No thought reproving th' act, in any place,
Nor Art no debt to Nature's liveliest grace;
So Pallas wrought in him a grace as great
From head to shoulders, and ashore did seat 375
His goodly presence. To which such a guise
He show'd in going, that it ravish'd eyes.
All which continued, as he sat apart,
Nausicaa's eye struck wonder through her heart,
Who thus bespake her consorts: "Hear me, you 380
Fair-wristed virgins! This rare man, I know,
Treads not our country earth, against the will
Of some God, throned on the Olympian hill.
He show'd to me, till now, not worth the note,
But now he looks as he had godhead got. 385
I would to heaven my husband were no worse,
And would be call'd no better, but the course
Of other husbands pleas'd to dwell out here.
Observe and serve him with our utmost cheer."
She said; they heard, and did. He drunk and eat 390
Like to a harpy, having touch'd no meat
A long before time. But Nausicaa now
Thought of the more grace she did lately vow,
Had horse to chariot join'd, and up she rose,
Up cheer'd her guest, and said: "Guest, now dispose 395
Yourself for town, that I may let you see
My father's court, where all the peers will be
Of our Phaeacian state. At all parts, then,
Observe to whom and what place y' are t' attain;
Though I need usher you with no advice, 400
Since I suppose you absolutely wise.
While we the fields pass, and men's labours there,
So long, in these maids' guides, directly bear
Upon my chariot (I must go before
For cause that after comes, to which this more 405
Be my induction) you shall then soon end
Your way to town, whose towers you see ascend
To such a steepness. On whose either side
A fair port stands, to which is nothing wide
An enterer's passage; on whose both hands ride 410
Ships in fair harbours; which once past, you win
The goodly market-place (that circles in
A fane to Neptune, built of curious stone,
And passing ample) where munition,
Gables, and masts, men make, and polish'd oars; 415
For the Phaeacians are not conquerors
By bows nor quivers; oars, masts, ships they are
With which they plough the sea, and wage their war.
And now the cause comes why I lead the way,
Not taking you to coach: The men, that sway 420
In work of those tools that so fit our state,
Are rude mechanicals, that rare and late
Work in the market-place; and those are they
Whose bitter tongues I shun, who straight would say,
(For these vile vulgars are extremely proud, 425
And foully-languag'd) 'What is he, allowed
To coach it with Nausicaa, so large set,
And fairly fashion'd? Where were these two met?
He shall be sure her husband. She hath been
Gadding in some place, and, of foreign men 430
Fitting her fancy, kindly brought him home
In her own ship. He must, of force, be come
From some far region; we have no such man.
It may be, praying hard, when her heart ran
On some wish'd husband, out of heaven some God 435
Dropp'd in her lap; and there lies she at road
Her complete life time. But, in sooth, if she,
Ranging abroad, a husband, such as he
Whom now we saw, laid hand on, she was wise,
For none of all our nobles are of prize 440
Enough for her; he must beyond sea come,
That wins her high mind, and will have her home.
Of our peers many have importuned her,
Yet she will none.' Thus these folks will confer
Behind my back; or, meeting, to my face 445
The foul-mouth rout dare put home this disgrace.
And this would be reproaches to my fame,
For, even myself just anger would inflame,
If any other virgin I should see,
Her parents living, keep the company 450
Of any man to any end of love,
Till open nuptials should her act approve.
And therefore hear me, guest, and take such way,
That you yourself may compass, in your stay,
Your quick deduction by my father's grace, 455
And means to reach the root of all your race.
We shall, not far out of our way to town,
A never-fell'd grove find, that poplars crown,
To Pallas sacred, where a fountain flows,
And round about the grove a meadow grows, 460
In which my father holds a manor house,
Deck'd all with orchards, green, and odorous,
As far from town as one may hear a shout.
There stay, and rest your foot-pains, till full out
We reach the city; where, when you may guess 465
We are arriv'd, and enter our access
Within my father's court, then put you on
For our Phaeacian state, where, to be shown
My father's house, desire. Each infant there
Can bring you to it; and yourself will clear 470
Distinguish it from others, for no shows
The city buildings make compar'd with those
That king Alcinous' seat doth celebrate.
In whose roofs, and the court (where men of state,
And suitors sit and stay) when you shall hide, 475
Straight pass it, ent'ring further, where abide
My mother, with her withdrawn housewiferies,
Who still sits in the fire-shine, and applies
Her rock, all purple, and of pompous show,
Her chair plac'd 'gainst a pillar, all a-row 480
Her maids behind her set; and to her here
My father's dining throne looks, seated where
He pours his choice of wine in, like a God.
This view once past, for th' end of your abode,
Address suit to my mother, that her mean 485
May make the day of your redition seen,
And you may frolic straight, though far away
You are in distance from your wished stay.
For, if she once be won to wish you well,
Your hope may instantly your passport seal, 490
And thenceforth sure abide to see your friends,
Fair house, and all to which your heart contends."
This said, she used her shining scourge, and lash'd
Her mules, that soon the shore left where she wash'd,
And, knowing well the way, their pace was fleet, 495
And thick they gather'd up their nimble feet.
Which yet she temper'd so, and used her scourge
With so much skill, as not to over-urge
The foot behind, and make them straggle so
From close society. Firm together go 500
Ulysses and her maids. And now the sun
Sunk to the waters, when they all had won
The never-fell'd, and sound-exciting, wood,
Sacred to Pallas; where the god-like good
Ulysses rested, and to Pallas pray'd: 505
"Hear me, of goat-kept Jove th' unconquer'd Maid!
Now throughly hear me, since, in all the time
Of all my wrack, my prayers could never climb
Thy far-off ears; when noiseful Neptune toss'd
Upon his watry bristles my emboss'd 510
And rock-torn body. Hear yet now, and deign
I may of the Phaeacian state obtain
Pity, and grace." Thus pray'd he, and she heard,
By no means yet, exposed to sight, appear'd,
For fear t' offend her uncle, the supreme 515
Of all the Sea-Gods, whose wrath still extreme
Stood to Ulysses, and would never cease,
Till with his country shore he crown'd his peace.
FINIS LIBRI SEXTI HOM. ODYSS.